Tuesday, 23 May 2006
|0938 - Well, he's mostly right...|
km5r posted this statement from the father of one of the victims of the Columbine killers to a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. He's right, and he's wrong.
He's absolutely right when he says the blame cannot be laid at the feet of the National Rifle Association, or the guns the killers used. The guns were just tools used by the killers.
He's wrong when he lays the blame on the perceived lack of God in the schools. As an atheist, I cannot agree that those who do not believe in a supreme being must necessarily "allow evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc". It is possible to be a good person without being intimidated into doing so by fear of divine retribution. Indeed, that is the goal to which I strive (imperfectly, since I am human).
The problem at Columbine High School was simply that two guys who had put up with far too much from their peers decided they weren't going to take it any more. I've been there. I don't know why I didn't grab a couple of guns and shoot up my high school, but I have no trouble at all understanding why others have done so.
current mood: thoughtful
current music: Blue Swede - Hooked On A Feeling
Speaking as a devoutly religious man, I believe that putting God in schools won't help. The sorts of things that will help, religion-wise, in preventing future Columbines are parents and ecclesiastical leaders working lovingly with their children and their charges, helping them actually LIVE Christian values.
Schools can't accomplish that. They're too impersonal. That very impersonality is at the heart of lots of problems schools have, but you won't solve those problems by adding religion to the curriculum.
Children who are persecuted at school, but who have a healthy outlet at home (parents who listen, and who offer wise, pertinent counsel rather than spouting platitudes) are almost 100% unlikely to turn to violence. And as you've suggested, Jay, that's something that can also be accomplished without the help of religion.
Wow, very well said, Howard.
It's stuff like that that leads people to call him "the coolest Mormon you'll ever meet"...a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree.
Sounds like it!
I use the Columbine school shootings (and others) in presentations when I talk at conferences about violence prevention, etc. Howard is 100% right - in an environment where there is a healthy outlet and a supportive family that is actually engaged in the child's life, the vast majority of them will not turn to violence, even if their life isn't perfect. (What kid's life really is perfect, right?)
While in some children's lives, religion is a big factor, it is certainly possible to have a loving, nurturing family life without it. And its that lack of loving, nurturing family life that is the cause of all of this violence, not the guns and not reliion.
Meh... sorry... didn't see myself get on the soapbox... LOL
I'd say it's because they were weak.
Picking up a gun and going on a lame shooting rampage is a loser's option.
"allow evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc"
So what do you call it when you blame people not like you for your problems?
Good question. Was that what the Columbine killers did?
and if it was, was it because they were atheists? (Were they? Is it even known what their beliefs were?)
No, that's what this guy did.
Ah. That makes it a really good question.